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Book Review – Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World


If you have a business, you need customers. Plain and simple. Ironically, most consumers these days complain that customer service is at an all-time low. If you’re a smart business person, now is the time to turn that trend around and start setting yourself apart from the competition!

For those new to the social media space or who want to amp up their customer service efforts, I highly recommend you check out Peter Shankman‘s latest book, Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Publishing, 2011).

Probably best known for founding Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Peter’s someone who has made a career out of thinking differently. In this book, his version of thinking differently is reminiscent of a time when people saw people as humans and not merely as numbers. From identifying the different types of customers you’ll encounter online, including the complainers and the braggers, Peter tells you how to deal with each of them through your social channels. He also discusses how to drive revenue, keep an eye on the competition, utilize freebies, identify how your customers like to be communicated with, and how to monitor what people are saying about you. However, he also emphasizes all the human elements of customer service: how to acknowledge customers, show appreciation, create brand loyalty, and what to do when something–anything–goes terribly wrong.

There are also seven valuable case studies that profile companies who are succeeding in the online space by thinking outside of the box and offering value. My favorite is the story of Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar.

Some business books are a labor to read, but Peter’s is incredibly user-friendly. For a book that offers great advice, insights, suggestions, and is incredibly educational, it’s a surprisingly easy read.

So, in short, if you’re not maximizing your online efforts to connect with your customers, engage them, excite them, and make them lifelong fans, you need to pick up a copy of Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World. And, although, lots of social media books become outdated within months of publication, I have no doubt you’ll want to keep this one on your book shelf to reference time and time again.

BlogWorld’s own Shane Ketterman recently interviewed author Peter Shankman and they talked about all things social media, including pinning, poking, and Peter’s Top Ten Tweet of 2011 (which yielded some incredible customer service and amazing PR for a social media savvy company!). Be sure to check out the video below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To see Peter live and in person, be sure to see his session When It Gets Real: What Happens When Your Fun Little Personal Brand Has to Grow Up at BlogWorld New York on June 6th!

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